Washington, D.C.’s National Gallery of Art is an awesome trove, but approaching it requires planning. Most of the gallery’s art is not on display at any one time, of course, but some spectacular pieces always are, and they provide the best starting point. Here are ten must-see works recommended by curator Eric Denker.

Despite its size, London is a very kid-friendly city. Almost 40 percent of the capital is dedicated to parks and public spaces, and major museums are free. The only problem is there’s so much to see. Here are some of the highlights.

Not to knock Dubrovnik, with its marble streets, 16th-century city walls, sparkling red roof tiles, and primo location—it more than earns its moniker of “Pearl of the Adriatic,” not to mention its UNESCO World Heritage status. But if you cross Croatia off your list after you’ve seen Dubrovnik, you’re missing out on a lot. Here…

After a thoroughly East Coast childhood, Avery Stonich traded Boston for Boulder in 1988. Once she experienced the city locals lovingly refer to as the “People’s Republic of Boulder,” she never looked back. This outdoor enthusiast and freelance adventure and travel writer has more than 40 countries under her belt, but still thinks Boulder is among the greatest places on Earth. Here are a few of her favorite things about her hometown of choice.

“Every traveler has a special place, a home away from home,” says National Geographic Traveler editor at large Daisann McLane. “Old Bangkok is mine.” Here’s her insider’s guide to preparing for your trip and what you should do and see once you’re on the ground to experience the rich culture of everyday Thai life.

The plains? Hardly. A solo drive through the Dakotas proves big on personality.

Itching to cash in on some of that well-deserved vacation time in the near future? Join @NatGeoTravel for our next Twitter chat to get the inside scoop on the best fall trips. In addition to hearing from National Geographic Traveler’s own Amy Alipio, who will be unveiling our brand new Best Fall Trips list, we’ll also be welcoming Laura Begley Bloom, executive editor for Yahoo Travel. Use #BestFallTrips to join us!

There’s a reason that the Wright brothers picked the Outer Banks to take their first flight: reliable breezes, wide open, non-vegetated spaces, and 100-foot dunes—the tallest on the Atlantic coast—where even novices can fly safely before alighting in soft sand. Your first flight in a hang glider “might just change your life,” says Andy Torrington, who has been teaching the sport near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, since 1991.

The pillars of the Acropolis are glowing in sunset gold and crimson glory as I meander down Ermou Street to Monastiraki—a pedestrian enclave in the heart of old Athens. The lively scene is a far cry from the smoggy, traffic-clogged city I remember in my youth. Now Athens is the place to be.

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in September.

Like their American counterparts, the cowboys, France’s gardians cut a dashing figure and loom large in the culture of the southern France. Part of a brotherhood formed in the early 16th century, the gardians are the caretakers of the herds of beautiful gray horses and black bulls that roam the largely unfenced Camargue region.

Michigander Luke Lienau’s relationship with Macau began in 2002 with a visit to see his girlfriend, a native of the Chinese Special Administrative Region. In the course of traveling back and forth for nearly a decade, he became fascinated with the city and its changes. When Luke finally decided to move to be with his now-wife…